Jontay Porter pleads guilty to NBA gambling scheme

Former Raptor faces years in prison

Former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter has pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to the federal crime of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a gambling scheme in which he manipulated his own performances for financial gain.

Porter admitted Wednesday that he agreed to withdraw early from games so that co-conspirators could win prop bets on his performance, allegations which had been made in investigations by first the NBA and then federal authorities. He said he did so to clear “large gambling debts.”

“I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry,” said Porter, who was banned for life by the NBA in April. The NBA investigation also found he wagered on several league games, including one of his own.

The 24-year-old has been released on $250,000 bond while awaiting sentencing, which is set for Dec. 18. Prosecutors recommended he be sentenced to around four years in prison but he could face up to 20.

Porter will also have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. His salary with the Raptors was $410,000 and he is facing forfeiture of “any property, real, or personal, constituting, or derived from, proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of such offense.”

Porter told the court he remains in therapy and has begun the process of undergoing rehab for a gambling problem.

Porter’s alleged co-conspirators also face charges

In a separate but related case, Porter’s four alleged co-conspirators are charged with plotting to profit from an NBA player’s insider information. Porter was not explicitly named in that case but the details that the player withdrew early from a game in January and another game in March match Porter’s actions.

Co-conspirators Long Phi PhamTimothy McCormackMahmud Mollah and Ammar Awawdeh all face U.S. charges of defrauding a sports betting company. They allegedly used Porter’s tips to place high-stakes prop bets and won more than $1 million USD combined. They allegedly agreed in advance to share about a quarter of any winnings from the March 20 game with Porter. The sportsbook where the money was wagered managed to flag the bets as suspicious before any of the men could withdraw from their account.

The online wagers were flagged as suspicious activity, leading to a report by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) to the FBI and the subsequent investigations.

Ontario police also investigating

Porter could yet also face criminal charges in Canada, as he is being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) conducted its own probe through the OPP’s embedded Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB). That investigation found there was justification for police to launch a criminal investigation of its own.

“The IEB has completed their assessment of available information in relation to the reported online betting irregularities from the January 26 and March 20, 2024 Raptors games and have determined that a criminal investigation is warranted,” Sgt. Robert Simpson told Canadian Gaming Business last month. The OPP is consulting with U.S. authorities.

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